To Avoid 'Curses' And Deep Wounds, Do What Christ Said And Turn Other Cheek
Spiritual rule: unless absolutely necessary, don't engage with antagonists. When provoked, step back and say to yourself (as many times as you need), "I donít have to get into a fight over that." Itís that simple. When we step back, we give God room to operate.
It's when we engage with someone who is attacking or bothering us or even talk about it that the sting, the nettle, the venom, remains.
Talking about evil can give it power and when it does a curse germinates.
When we focus on an itch, or play around with a cut, it gets worse and there can be an infection. We all know that a small infection (in an innocuous place like your finger) can become systemic, affecting the entire body and in some cases even leading to death.
So too does infection take root in the dimension of spirits.
The more we focus on it, the more the evil presents itself.
That puts us under a cloud. It blocks grace. When people are mad, they are often wishing negative things upon us and those negative desires will land if we give them the opportunity to. When we ignore insult, it closes the door to infiltration.
One of the greatest tests of life thus is to do this, to turn the other cheek. If we love whoever insults us and return good for evil, harboring no ill will, the curse will not "alight," to use the expression from Proverbs.
This is why Christ told us to turn the other cheek: When we release resentment, weíre joining forces with the way He forgave on the Cross. As we endure an irritation patiently, the wound heals and the way to the miraculous opens. Love in all circumstances. Forgiveness is an extra step toward love.
One woman wrote to us about a husband who desperately needed a kidney transplant. A crisis this was, with no exit, it seemed. There was only one person who matched his blood type -- a sister who was estranged.
They had a back and forth with her, and finally, to the horror of all, the sister announced that she had reached a decision and didnít want to donate the organ!
She wouldnít do it. And it was galling. It was devastating. Now, the womanís husband had only weeks to live.
But remarkably, instead of harboring bitterness, this manís wife stepped back, settled down to prayer, and through prayer came to her own remarkable decision: She would forgive the sister. No matter what, there would be love. Evil would not be returned for evil. She prepared a letter of forgiveness.
At the last minute, before the letter reached her, the sister changed her mind and offered her kidney against all expectation!
Itís a mystery why we must suffer such things, but from it is a path toward perfection. Difficulty punctures a hole in our pride, drains it away, and affords us the opportunity to love. Forgiveness is a manifestation of love that is projected outwardly.
God loves it when we can fly above a disappointment, sorrow, or insult and find His comfort. If you want Him to multiply what you need, send Him the ingredient of enthusiasm and refuse to immerse yourself in setbacks, however big or small. A widow of 9/11, Cheryl McGuinness, whose husband was the pilot of a plane that hit the Trade Center, says she wants other people to realize that no matter what disasters or pain occur in life ("no matter how horrific they can be"), those tragedies can be overcome by "having a foundation that we can draw on in times of tragedy and trial."
That foundation is seeing the Hand of God in everything, which then makes it easier for us to put everything into His Hands. Letís repeat it: seeing the Hand of God in everything makes it easier to put everything in His Hands.
There is no situation from which He is absent.
And although it may look like it to us, He is never random.
Letting oneís thoughts hover over an aggravation is completely counterproductive and can be stopped only through discipline. That means controlling what you think. In your head is that constant inner dialogue and you have to make sure that itís devoid of anger. At the first negative thought, step back and halt the thought. Dismiss it. Command it away. Put it in Jesus' Hands. Do this every time it comes. Soon, doing so will be easy.
Reverse the curse! Love those who despite you! This is "doing purgatory" here on earth indeed! Look at it as an opportunity to purify.
There is nothing that should gall you because there is nothing anyone has ever done that goes unseen by God and will not be addressed by Him in due course here or in the hereafter.
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[adapted from Michael Brown's The God of Miracles]